Executive Order Leaves Current H-1B System in Place, But Calls for Reforms

On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO), “Buy American and Hire American,” which aims to “stimulate economic growth” and “ensure the integrity of the immigration system.”  Although this action provides impetus to federal agencies to propose changes to the U.S. immigration system, the EO itself does not present an immediate impact to immigration programs.

The Impact of the President’s Executive Action Upon U.S. Employers

On Thursday evening, November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he was taking executive action that will primarily shield up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation. U.S. employers will benefit from business-related portions of the executive action, but these provisions will be implemented gradually as regulatory review is necessary in many cases.

Virginia’s Mandatory E-Verify Requirement Effective December 2013

At the federal level, E-Verify is mandatory only for certain federal contractors and subcontractors who must use E-Verify to confirm that particular employees are authorized to work in the United States. At the state level, there are a growing number of laws that make E-Verify use mandatory. Among the most recent is Virginia’s version of E-Verify, namely, House Bill (HB) 1859.

Will the New E-Verify Security Enhancement Help or Hurt?

“E-Verify” is an internet-based system, operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Used in conjunction with Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, it allows employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new employees. In light of widespread criticism that E-Verify is flawed, the federal government has attempted to make some modifications to the E-Verify system to improve the system’s accuracy and efficiency, enhance customer service, and reduce fraud and misuse.

California’s New Anti-Retaliation Protections for Foreign Workers Effective January 2014

In October 2013, California enacted several new laws that provide California workers, who are seeking to change their personal information, engage in whistleblower activity, or exercise their workplace rights, with expanded protections against adverse employment actions, including specific protections for foreign national employees. The new legislation became effective on January 1, 2014. Some of the

Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY 2015 Should Be Filed on March 31, 2014 to Be Received by USCIS on April 1, 2014

The filing period for “new” H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for FY 2015 begins on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Note that petitions need to be mailed on March 31 to ensure receipt by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on April 1. New H-1B petitions subject to

Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY 2015 Should Be Filed on March 31, 2014

The filing period for “new” H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for FY 2015 begins on Monday, March 31, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2015 on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 to request an employment start date of October 1,

USCIS Seeking to Revise Form I-9 (Again)

Earlier this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the form that must be completed by all employers to verify the employment eligibility of every new hire. The modifications included the expansion of the Form I-9 from one to two pages (not including the “List of Acceptable Documents” and form instructions), additional data fields (such as the new hire’s email address and phone number), enhanced Form I-9 instructions, and a revised layout.

DOJ and NLRB Agree to Cooperate in Investigating Labor and Immigration Law Violations

On July 8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that the Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The stated purpose of the MOU is “to foster cooperation and minimize duplication of

Justice Department Cautions Against Re-Verification of I-9 Documents by General Contractor

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through its Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), recently issued a Technical Assistance Letter in response to a written request by a subcontractor as to whether a general contractor is permitted to require the subcontractor’s employees to present original I-9 documentation, provided to the subcontractor during the I-9 verification process, before commencing work on the project.

DHS Report Signals New Challenges for L-1 Intracompany Transferees

The L visa allows qualifying multinational companies with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate abroad to transfer managers and executives (L-1A) and employees with “specialized knowledge” (L-1B) to work in the United States. To qualify, the transferee, within the three-year period preceding entry into the United States, must have been employed abroad in an executive,

Recent OCAHO Decision Reminds Employers to Complete Accurate and Timely I-9 Forms

As immigration reform measures proceed through Congress, it is critical that employers are prepared for strict worksite enforcement of I-9 requirements to prevent costly auditing and penalties for paperwork violations or the knowing employment of undocumented workers. A recent decision from the Justice Department’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is a stark reminder to businesses to ensure that their I-9 forms are in order.

Significant Advancement of EB-2 India Cut-off Date

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date cut-offs that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process, either through adjustment of status or consular immigrant visa application. Those with priority dates that are earlier than the date listed for that visa category and country can proceed with their applications.

Staggered Implementation of Georgia and North Carolina E-Verify Laws Completed on July 1

In May and June 2011 respectively, the states of Georgia and North Carolina each passed laws mandating the use of E-Verify, an internet-based system, administered by the federal government, which allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Each of the state’s E-Verify requirements were implemented in stages and participation was phased in according to the employer’s size.

Sweeping Immigration Reform Bill Passes Senate

On June 27, 2013, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 32. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate on April 17, 2013 by the Senate “Gang of Eight,” would allow a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and proposes significant changes to employment-based immigration laws.

DOMA and Immigration: Practical Implications of the Supreme Court’s Decision

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in United States v. Windsor. The Court ruled that a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had denied federal benefits to same-sex partners, is unconstitutional. The legal impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling means that same-sex spouses

Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform

On June 27, 2013, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 32. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate on April 17, 2013 by the Senate “Gang of Eight,” would allow a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and proposes significant changes to employment-based immigration laws. Below is a brief summary of the bill’s key provisions.

Supreme Court Decision on DOMA Should Provide Equal Access to Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to same-sex partners. In a 5-to-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor, the court held that “DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.” This decision is likely to have profound impact in the area of immigration law.

Revised Form I-9 Effective March 8, 2013

A revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the form that must be completed by all employers to verify the employment eligibility of every new hire, was introduced on March 8, 2013 and became effective as of that date. The modifications include the expansion of the Form I-9 from one to two pages (not including the “List of Acceptable Documents” and form instructions), additional data fields (such as the new hire’s email address and phone number), enhanced Form I-9 instructions, and a revised layout.

Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to be Introduced in April 2013

On March 27, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register that will automate the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to purportedly streamline the admissions process for individuals visiting the United States. The I-94 Form (I-94) provides temporary visitors with evidence of their lawful admission to the United States, which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization.

Immigration Reform 2013—Update

In the February/March 2013 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, we outlined the respective proposals for immigration reform put forward by both the President and a bipartisan group of eight senators. We also noted that numerous new stand-alone business immigration bills have recently been announced, including the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (I-Squared Act). We have

Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to be Introduced in April 2013

On March 27, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register that will automate the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to purportedly streamline the admissions process for individuals visiting the United States. The I-94 Form (I-94) provides temporary visitors with evidence of their…..

Immigration Reform—How Will Proposed Legislation Impact Employers?

President Obama has made comprehensive immigration reform a priority. In January, both the President and a bipartisan group of eight senators laid out their respective proposals for immigration reform. The Senate proposal has four basic elements: (1) a path to legalization for illegal immigrants; (2) increased border security; (3) increased employer verification requirements; and (4)

Post-Election Immigration Reform – What’s At Issue?

The prospect of comprehensive immigration reform appears to be gaining momentum. In January, a bipartisan group of eight senators announced a broad proposal for immigration reform (“Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”) and, one day later, President Obama laid out his vision for comprehensive immigration reform.